Māori Bowls organisers looks to boost sport

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Organisers of the Aotearoa Māori National Bowls are on a mission to revive their sport.

This year's tournament held in Rotorua saw a decrease from past events with only 47 teams registered. Once a thriving tournament has hit a decline. Harold Hunt who has helped organise the tournament says “the situation is the same all over the motu they cannot, the young ones are not keen to come forward and play whether they are a bit māngere I don't know.”

Organisers are hoping to boost the numbers by changing its demographic.

Simon Barakat says, “We are trying to promote the game amount our younger people, so we are going to dangle the carrot in front of our young and say look, come and play bowls, there is a goal at the end of it all, if you really put your time into it you can achieve.”

Homai Uarata, event stalwart would like to see more iwi support.

“We have the ability to put in place avenues, don't leave it up to New Zealand but for Māori to establish a plan govern under Māori protocols.”

The organisers hope next year's tournament in Hawkeseesay see a strong return.